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20140904164646-still_life_with_fish_and_forsythia-1 Art critic pattern blindness: On ignoring trends in Amsterdam this September   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 9/4/14

One of my colleagues crafted his city’s fall preview around the challenge of choosing exhibitions to visit when there’s so much to see. It’s a difficult task we all face, and quite frankly, I might have taken this approach myself. Instead, when charged with writing about September offerings I ended up looking for patterns; like a gallery staging a summer group show, I wondered what ad hoc themes I might attach to Amsterdam art this month. Of course, it’s a task more hopele... [more]

20140828064348-bandaged_ear_comparison Too Much Van Gogh: A journey from 3D to 2D and back again   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Vincent Van Gogh at Beurs van Berlage May 24th, 2014 - December 24th, 2014
Posted 8/28/14

There’s some buzz in New York this summer because all seventeen of the Met’s van Gogh paintings are on view together for the first time in over ten years. That’s nice, though an abundance of van Gogh paintings isn’t something that preoccupies us too much here in Amsterdam. In fact, right now we’ve got too many—including quite a few of the ones currently installed at the Met. Packed wall-to-wall in the basement of the Beurs van Berlage these days are some two hund... [more]

20140812101653-de_stad_de_stilte_3 The city as hardware, soft infrastructure, and idea   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Diane Arbus, Mitch Epstein, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, William Klein, Dana Lixenberg, Karl Hugo Schmölz, Ed van der Elsken, Michael Wolf at FotoMuseum Den Haag July 5th, 2014 - October 12th, 2014
Posted 8/12/14

Horizontals, verticals, and some disciplined curves, squares and angles offset by relentless electrical streetlights. The wall with forty vintage photographs marking the start of The Rush and Calm, Moments in the City looks like an architect’s drawing table. Karl Hugo Schmölz’s 1950s documentation of German cinemas, orchestra houses, car dealerships, and shopping malls clearly illustrates the strong focus on hardware during the post-war Reconstruction period. They show the city as... [more]

Collector's Catalogue Volume 7, Issue 1: Bringing Private Passions into the Public Realm, European Collections   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 8/7/14

Bringing Private Passions into the Public Realm Visiting Focus Beijing at Rotterdam's Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Edo Dijksterhuis considers the trend of Dutch museums forging exhibitions from private collections. For the better part of their lives Henk de Heus and his wife Victoria de Heus-Zomer have worked to build up their business. The De Heus animal feed company has a hundred year history but it wasn’t until the last couple of decades that the family business f... [more]

20140806173431-06 Bringing private passions into the public realm   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Hai Bo, Zhang Dali, Wang Guangle, Ai Weiwei, Qiu Xiaofei, Zhang Xiaogang, LIANG Yuanwei at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen June 14th, 2014 - September 21st, 2014
Posted 8/6/14

For the better part of their lives Henk de Heus and his wife Victoria de Heus-Zomer have worked to build up their business. The De Heus animal feed company has a hundred year history but it wasn’t until the last couple of decades that the family business from rural Barneveld boomed, becoming a world leader in animal nutrition, a multinational active in fifty countries. The de Heus-Zomer couple has invested a sizeable part of the resulting fortune in art. Since the late eighties they have col... [more]

20140724051947-1 Being a bit too breezy about the sky   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Constant, Anne de Vries, Leo Gestel, John Körmeling, Hendrik W. Mesdag, Jan Sluijters, Guido van der Werve, JCJ Vanderheyden, J.H. Weissenbruch, Carel Willink at De Hallen Haarlem June 21st, 2014 - September 7th, 2014
Posted 7/24/14

Compiling an attractive and wholesome summer exhibition: it’s an art form in itself. During the cultural low season, when the regular audience has migrated to southern European beaches, museums hoping to maintain healthy visitor statistics choose to cater to tourists, staycationists, and day-trippers. And that requires a special type of show. Of course, the fun factor is to be reckoned with; the subject should not be too highbrow and instead have a broad, preferably universal appeal. Some couleur locale... [more]

20140702165411-onzichtbare_man__1_-_michiel_voet How to Depict the Invisible Man?   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Michiel Voet at Nieuw Dakota June 15th, 2014 - September 7th, 2014
Posted 7/2/14

One of the most remarkable images in the Jeff Wall exhibition currently at the Stedelijk Museum is the constructed photograph After "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison, The Prologue (1999-2000). Ellison’s nameless protagonist sits in his underground hideaway, surrounded by 1,369 light bulbs illuminated by currents rerouted from Monopolated Light & Power. To counter his invisibility he surrounds himself in light. And if the world doesn’t want to see him, he’ll exploit that, thumbing... [more]

20140619073443-untitled_1970_c_larry_clark__courtesy_of_the_artist_and_luhring_augustine_new_york Shooting up on youth’s immortality   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Larry Clark at Foam - Fotografie Museum June 13th, 2014 - September 12th, 2014
Posted 6/19/14

When Kids came out in 1995 it kicked up quite a storm. Larry Clark’s debut feature film depicts a group of teenage skate punks smoking dope, drinking excessively, shoplifting, talking nonsense, basically wasting their lives away. The main character, a world class egomaniac named Telly, has unprotected sex with every eleven year old girl he can talk out of her pants, since according to him virginity is the best protection against venereal diseases. At the end of the movie it turns out he himsel... [more]

20140605101458-bikini_bar Stripping life down to its bare essentials   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Atelier van Lieshout at Kasteel Keukenhof June 1st, 2014 - October 1st, 2014
Posted 6/5/14

The Keukenhof is under siege. Across the road from the world famous flower park, both tourist magnet and symbol of bourgeois dowdiness, two men are loading a howitzer. There’s no mistaking the trajectory of this Big Bertha—the nearby sea of tulips is going to get blown to smithereens. The men are faceless and featureless, like anonymous puppets blindly following orders, ready to become cannon fodder themselves. They are very basic archetypes, just like the hut sitting on the lawn a f... [more]

20140521151156-image_1 Marcel van Eeden: Murder he drew   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Marcel van Eeden at GEM, The Hague May 16th, 2014 - August 24th, 2014
Posted 5/21/14

Marcel van Eeden’s work is all about time, but it always starts with a location. In his series of drawings van Eeden tells stories taking place roughly between World War I and 1965, the year of his own birth. Drawing from photographs, advertisements, and, less frequently, short texts, he creates the building blocks of a partially true and partially fictional history. With every new episode, which doesn’t necessarily follow chronology but always connects with the others and often features... [more]

20140507170641-_bwc3792 Reinventing the museum as a relevant social arena   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at Stedelijk Museum 's-Hertogenbosch March 8th, 2014 - June 15th, 2014
Posted 5/7/14

“The coming twenty years we’ll be okay, with all the baby boomers retiring. But after that we’ll have to come up with a different way of doing things otherwise museums will soon be obsolete.” It was Arnoud Odding, director of Rijksmuseum Twenthe, who said this when I asked him about the most pressing priorities in the Dutch art sector. Odding has given the subject a lot of thought. In 2004 he published Het Gedroomde Museum (The Dream Museum), about the museum as a place for... [more]

20140425083244-hitosteyerl_how_not_to_be_seen_a_fucking_didactic_educational_mov_file_2013_9 How not to be eaten by an out-of-focus monster: A fucking didactic educational exhibition review.   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Hito Steyerl at Van Abbemuseum April 12th, 2014 - June 22nd, 2014
Posted 4/25/14

“I think Bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry, and that's extra scary to me. There's a large, out-of-focus monster roaming the countryside. Run, he's fuzzy, get out of here.” – Mitch Hedberg Mitch Hedberg’s enduring Bigfoot joke is predicated on a misunderstanding that conflates image-making technology and distribution with real world appearances. It’s the same one that Berlin-based writer and filmmaker Hito Stey... [more]

20140409133755-safe_from_harm_2012_c_richard_mosse__courtesy_of_the_artist_and_jack_shainman_gallery__new_york Can war photography be beautiful?   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Richard Mosse at Foam - Fotografie Museum March 21st, 2014 - June 1st, 2014
Posted 4/9/14

“Are you an artist or a journalist?” Marcel Feil, the Deputy Director of artistic affairs at Foam, wasted no time getting to the big questions. The recipient was Richard Mosse, who had arrived in Amsterdam that morning for the installation and opening of his exhibition The Enclave. Once the jokes about typical Dutch candor died down the Irish photographer swiftly dismissed the idea that he might be a journalist: “I’m an artist, though I’ve got documentarian blood.&rdq... [more]

Collector's Catalogue Vol. 6, Issue 2: Corporate Collections, Crowdfunding, and the Almighty Patron   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 3/27/14

Corporate Collections: On the threshold of a new type of patronage Edo Dijksterhuis profiles the important role corporate collections play in the Netherlands art world. Some 45,000 works of art. That’s the number of artworks owned by the twenty member companies and institutions upon the 2005 launch of the Vereniging Bedrijfscollecties Nederland (VBCN – Netherlands Association of Corporate Collections). That’s half as many as the Stedelijk Museum has on displa... [more]

20140326165229-ola_lanko Corporate Collections: on the threshold of a new type of patronage   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 3/26/14

Some 45,000 works of art. That’s the number of artworks owned by the twenty member companies and institutions upon the 2005 launch of the Vereniging Bedrijfscollecties Nederland (VBCN – Netherlands Association of Corporate Collections). That’s half as many as the Stedelijk Museum has on display and in storage. Less than nine years later the number stands at roughly 100,000 works of art and the ranks of the VBCN have swollen to forty-six. Suffice it to say, corporate collections in... [more]

20140326170646-c-viviane-sassen-zone-01-umbra-series-2014 A peddler of abnormal pictures   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Viviane Sassen at Nederlands Fotomuseum March 8th, 2014 - June 1st, 2014
Posted 3/26/14

“Shadow is built like a cattle rustler’s dream girl: long-legged, long-armed, long-framed,” writes Moses Isegawa in a story in Flamboya, Viviane Sassen’s 2008 photobook. It’s not hard to recognize the photographer herself in this fictitious character – Sassen is tall, with a model’s figure. Moreover, Isegawa, author of the Abyssinian Chronicles (1998), describes Shadow as “a nomad,” qualifies the photographs she shows him as “abnormal,&rd... [more]


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